Son with autism suffers from psychotic episodes.
WINDHAM, Maine —A Windham mother wants people to know how medical marijuana has helped her 12-year-old son.
Stephanie Lay said her son is autistic and suffers from psychotic episodes.
Lay said the changes she’s seen in her son, Bryce, over the past few weeks have been nothing short of remarkable.
Medical marijuana users no longer have to register with the state so we don’t know how many minors are using it, but Lay said marijuana and the synthetic drug Marinol, are the treatments that have helped her son the most.
Lay said she has holes in the wall of her house that Bryce made during one of his psychotic fits.
“It hurts. It’s really hard to see because you’re watching your child, you’re watching your child hurt himself when he doesn’t know why he’s hurting himself and no one can figure out why he’s hurting himself,” said Lay.
She said she and Bryce have struggled to deal with his health almost all of his life, trying to find a treatment that works.
“After you’ve been on so many anti-psychotics and they’re not rectifying the behavior, then you’re willing to try anything, including marijuana,” said Lay.
She said at first she baked marijuana into brownies for Bryce. She said he dramatically improved and the side effects were minimal.
How she gives him Marinol, an FDA-approved drug. She wants people to know that medical marijuana isn’t just something that can help adults.
“Because if this is helping him, it could help a lot of other children,” Lay said.
Dr. Dustin Sulak is the one who certified Bryce to use marijuana to help heal his head from an injury he inflicted on himself, and to keep him calm.
“We used to be told during the ‘Just Say No’ campaign that cannabis killed brain cells. But now that we know that it actually protects brain cells and actually stimulates the growth of new brain cells,” said Sulak.
Gordon Smith of the Maine Medical Association, said experts told his organization that marijuana is a gateway drug so his association is concerned about pre-teens using it.
“We think that would be alarming to most people. Now, having said that, I don’t contest that, in any number of conditions, that it might be helpful. That’s really between the patient and the physician,” said Smith.
Sulak said Bryce is not the youngest person he’s certified to use medical marijuana. That patient, he said, was a 2-year-old cancer patient.